How would you know when it’s time to wash your protective style? Below, I have listed four symptoms to watch out for and ways that our hair lets us know that it needs a wash.
1. Your scalp starts to feel itchy
By itchy, I mean uncontrollable itchiness which doesn’t seem to stop. When the scalp is clogged up with grease, oils and other products we layer on it, it can start to feel uncomfortable over time. Clogged follicles may impede hair growth because each individual baby hair strands have to fight through layers of gunk to grow out of the scalp.
2. You see white particles on your roots
These “white stuff” could either be dandruff, product build-up from the multiple products that we layer on our scalp and hair, flakes, fungus or what I like to call “product conflict” (when two different products don’t mix well together).
3. Your scalp is excessively greasy
When we apply grease, petroleum jelly, and/or mineral oil-based products on our hair and scalp, the end result would be excessively greasy hair and scalp. The reason for this is that these products do not absorb but only coat the surface the scalp, and because they just “stay” on top of our hair, they can eventually melt in the heat and make their way down to the scalp. As a result of this, the scalp would end up with too much grease which could clog the scalp and impede hair growth.
4. Its been a while since your last wash
While it’s possible to not experience any of the points listed above, your hair will still need regular cleansing regardless of the fact that your hair “looks” clean.4. Your hair starts to smell: the end result of the first three points will be a stinky head of hair. Now, you may not be able to smell your hair because you’ve been desensitized to it, so you might think this point does not apply to you. However, if you have a sensitive nasal system like I do, you will be able to tell. Just in case you’re not sure, you could ask a close friend or family to let you know. You can also smell your headgear and pillow for any strong odour. If you workout or sweat a lot and/or wear weaves, your hair will smell if it’s not washed often.
To rid the hair and scalp of itchiness, grease, residue and strong odour, you will need to cleanse your scalp with a good shampoo or other forms of hair cleansers, followed with a deep conditioning treatment to restore moisture back to your hair.
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What to do to rid your hair and scalp of these symptoms
1. For added benefits, I recommend doing an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse to balance the pH level of your scalp and to kill any fungus which couldn’t be washed off with a shampoo. You will need to mix one part ACV with one part water and pour it on a freshly washed and conditioned hair while massaging your scalp. Let the ACV sit in your hair for a while before rinsing it off with water.
2. To help with symptom #2, I recommend adding few drops (5 drops each) of tea tree oil and peppermint oil to your hair cleanser to help kill any mould in your hair. You can also add these essential oils to your scalp oil for the added anti-itch, anti-dandruff and anti-fungi benefits.
3. For a sweet-smelling hair, you can also add scented essentials oils such as Lemongrass oil, Lavender oil and any other scented oil of your choice to your leave-in conditioner and hair oil. Please note that these oils will only “do their job” when the hair is clean.